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Son rises: Videocon eyes comeback on tech drive

business Updated: Aug 23, 2012 01:52 IST
Rachit Vats
Rachit Vats
Hindustan Times
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Homegrown consumer durable and appliances firm Videocon Industries is looking at regaining lost ground. The firm under the aegis of Anirudh Dhoot, 34, the younger son of chairman and MD Venugopal Dhoot, hopes to drive business to newer heights through technologically advanced products, which it believes will be its unique selling point.

To begin with, the company launched a LCD TV bundled with DTH and internet chip which does not need a set top box.

"Videocon has always been ahead of times, even when we launched Internet television 10 years ago. Though, we have realised that the timing of the launch is important to stay in the game," said Anirudh Dhoot, director, Videocon Industries.

After spending 10 years in the company, Anirudh is now actively taking charge to drive the consumer electronics and the appliances business. Over the last few years, Videocon Industries has seen stagnation set in its business on the revenues side even as its net profit has taken a dip. Its net profit dipped 21.3% to R429.1 crore for the period 2011-12 as compared to the year-ago period. The company’s sales dipped 1.4% to R12,733 crore for the period 2011-12 even as it had dipped 12% to R12,919 crore a year ago. While the task to take Videocon Industries to newer heights is uphill, Dhoot believes a turnaround is possible. However, he refused to give any forward-looking targets.

“At present the consumer durables and the appliances business is about 40% of the total Videocon conglomerate sales of about $4 billion. Our strategy is to deliver better technology in the consumer business which will help improve marketshare,” he said .

“We are in a healthy situation with not much to worry about. There are a lot of opportunities to grow and we are working on new technology-based launches across our portfolio including washing machines, refrigerators, and more. The idea is to scale up significantly through retail presence and better products,” he said.

While, at present, Videocon sees majority of its sales coming from tier 2 and 3 cities, the firm is looking at capturing marketshare in urban areas with new technology heavy product launches.

The company has launched LED TVs, which allow consumers to receive digital signals without a set-top box. The device also doubles up as an internet device. Other categories such as refrigerators and air conditioners, segments where Korean and Japanese companies have captured marketshare are the next area of focus.

“Videocon wants to enter the big league in consumer durable space. The LCD we have launched is just a step towards it. While we are very strong in tier 2 and 3 cities, our efforts will be to increase touch points with deeper penetration,” said HS Bhatia, chief marketing officer, Videocon.

“We are looking at consolidating marketshare in some segments where we have not done well. Customers are aspiring for premium products and so we are stepping up our efforts at providing the same,” said Bhatia.